It was requested that I post something about this here. I came across this whilst researching album cover design for my homie Bad Spit's album "Arkana". While researching conspiracy theories I've come across mentions of it in esoterisism and especially in the freemasons insider revelations of what the process of ascension into illumination seems to be based on. I found it very enlightening as I could draw many paralells to how I during my growth as a person have found stages of my life to be paralell to the description of it's stages. I have been very anti-conformist, am very young for my age andhave always followed my own path without succumbing to a pessimistic view of the future. I think that might be why I found this process to be so reasonably true compared to how I have gathered my sorry excuse for what I'd like to call wisdom based on all my experiences, choices of action and development of thought. There are a lot of interpretations for you to research furter if you find this interesting, I will post one below. The Alchemical process is based on the chemical alchemical process of purification, transfered into human development the symbolism of this process can be interpreted as such and here are the seven stages of the alchemical process of transformation (there are more stages to this if you break some stages into segments, and there you will find through research nods to astrology, playing card/tarot and many other forms of symbolism in other schools of thought) as interpreted from the book "The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy for Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck": STAGE 1 First Stage - Calcination CALCINATION is the first of seven major operations in the alchemy of transformation. Chemically, the Calcination process involves heating a substance in a crucible or over an open flame until it is reduced to ashes. In the Arcanum Experiment, Calcination is represented by sulfuric acid, which the alchemists made from a naturally occurring substance called Vitriol. Sulfuric acid is a powerful corrosive that eats away flesh and reacts with all metals except gold. Psychologically, this is the destruction of ego and our attachments to material possessions. Calcination is usually a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life, though it can be a deliberate surrender of our inherent hubris gained through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the fire of introspection and self-evaluation. Physiologically, the Fire of Calcination can be experienced as the metabolic discipline or aerobic activity that tunes the body, burning off excesses from overindulgence and producing a lean, mean, fighting machine. Calcination begins in the Base or Lead Chakra at the sacral cup at the base of the spine. In Society, the Calcination is expressed in the lives of revolutionaries, conquerors, and other warriors who try to overthrow the status quo. On the Planetary level, it is the Fire of creation, the formation of a livable environment from molten matter and volcanic ashes. STAGE 2: Second Stage - Dissolution DISSOLUTION is the second major operation in the alchemy of transformation. Chemically, it is the dissolving the ashes from Calcination in water. In the Arcanum Experiment, Dissolution is represented by iron oxide or rust, which illustrated the potentially corrosive powers of Water on even the hardest of metals. When processed, Vitriol breaks down into sulfuric acid and iron oxide, which are the first two arcana or secret ingredients. The Egyptians smelted Iron as far back as 1500 BCE and used iron compounds in tonics and as disinfectants. Psychologically, this represents a further breaking down of the artificial structures of the psyche by total immersion in the unconscious, non-rational, feminine or rejected part of our minds. It is, for the most part, an unconscious process in which our conscious minds let go of control to allow the surfacing of buried material. It is opening the floodgates and generating new energy from the waters held back. Dissolution can be experienced as "flow," the bliss of being well-used and actively engaged in creative acts without traditional prejudices, personal hang-ups, or established hierarchy getting in the way. Physiologically, Dissolution is the continuance of the kundalini experience, the opening-up of energy channels in the body to recharge and elevate every single cell. Dissolution takes place in the Genital or Tin Chakra and involves the lungs and spleen. In Society, the process of steady growth through gradual Dissolution is exemplified by agrarian, monastic, or agriculture-based lifestyles. On the Planetary level, Dissolution is the Great Flood, the cleansing of the earth of all that is inferior. STAGE 3: Third Stage - Separation SEPARATION is the third of the operations of transformation in alchemy. Chemically, it is the isolation of the components of Dissolution by filtration and then discarding any ungenuine or unworthy material. In the Arcanum Experiment, Separation is represented by the compound sodium carbonate, which separates out of water and appears as white soda ash on dry lake-beds. The oldest known deposits are in Egypt. The alchemists sometimes referred to this compound as Natron, which meant the common tendency in all salts to form solid bodies or precipitates. Psychologically, this process is the rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dream and visionary "gold" previously rejected by the masculine, rational part of our minds. It is, for the most part, a conscious process in which we review formerly hidden material and decide what to discard and what to reintegrate into our refined personality. Much of this shadowy material is things we are ashamed of or were taught to hide away by our parents, churches, and schooling. Separation is letting go of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature, so we can shine through. Physiologically, Separation is following and controlling the breath in the body as it works with the forces of Spirit and Soul to give birth to new energy and physical renewal. Separation begins in the Navel or Iron Chakra located at the level of the solar plexus. In Society, Separation is expressed as the establishment of clans, cities, and nationalities. Separation on the Planetary level is represented by the formation of land masses and islands from the powerful forces of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire.